I rode the bridge this weekend (Friday evening) and didn't really have
any issues with it except that the pavement is yucky where they ground
the old stripe off. I definitely noticed that it would have felt
narrow without the striping change, but that's done now.
It was not at a busy time of day, so that may change my perspective,
but there were some cars approaching the bridge at the same time. I
plan to try riding it during heavier traffic, but in the meantime I
have to admit I don't really see an issue with the current layout or
the curves (I felt comfortable on them, going at a moderate but not
slow speed), and the addition of the buffer makes it nicer than your
average lane. (I like the buffered lanes on Stark and Oak as well, for
what it's worth -- with the extra space, I feel safer from routine
inattention by people driving, without the physical barriers
introducing merging and turning issues.)
The approach via Couch has some interesting and challenging problems.
The layout is squeezed because of on-street parking, and there's heavy
right-turn traffic at several places. Removing the on-street parking
would, in theory, stop the squeeze, but would further encourage
cyclists to ride on the right, leading to potentially greater
right-hook problems. One can take the lane until 6th, but then the
bike lane forces you to the right by law. The lane could be installed
on the left, but then you're in the wrong place at the bridge, which
would likely require a separate signal cycle to address.
Given that the majority of the issues are on the approach (the bridge
itself has a nice wide bike lane, and placing a physical barrier there
could be complex with the need to open the bridge), I'm not sure
whether it makes sense to say that a cycletrack is the solution.
Personally, I think this may be one that's better handled by direct
conversation and engagement, rather than symbolic demonstrations.
Certainly the direct conversations I've had about it have been very
helpful to my understanding; the broadcast-style news about it, less